Actor Sanjay Dutt sustained a multi-decade career in his native India with roles in such continental productions as Naam (1985), Amaanat (1994), and Nehlle Pe Dehlla (indeed, his resumé qualifies as one of the most prolific in Asia). He predominantly specialized in character parts, with an emphasis on tough guy roles. Dutt achieved name recognition in his region of the world, but failed to connect with international audiences -- other than Bollywood enthusiasts -- for his first several decades. He found an unlikely (and undesired) source of global recognition in the late 2000s, however: a prison sentence for terrorist-related activities. Headlines in the late summer of 2007 announced Dutt's indictment for receiving guns from two Muslim gangsters who apparently perpetrated a 1993 bombing in Mumbai. Though acquitted for direct involvement in the bombings, the actor was sentenced to six years in prison, following an initial 16-month jail term. Insiders predicted that the stint would not harm his career.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Debuted in Rocky (1981) and rose to fame through his appearance in Vidhaata, the highest grossing Hindi film of 1982.
- Won the Filmfare Best Actor award for his character in Vaastav: The Reality (1999).
- Was sentenced to six years in prison for illegal possession of weapons, which was later reduced to five years in 2007.
- Stood for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as a candidate for the Samajwadi Party, but eventually withdrew his candidacy.
- Along with enterpreneur Raj Kundra he launched the Super Fight League in 2012, India's first professional mixed martial arts league.